A regional daily has scored a legal victory after successfully challenging an order which banned them from revealing the address of a man convicted of racism.
Christopher Philips, 24, from Wolverhampton, was sentenced to one year in jail after admitting to posting a video online showing someone in a Ku Klux Klan costume hanging a life-size golliwog doll.
Philips, of Kitchen Lane, Wednesfield, also wrote a manifesto setting out that democracy had failed and that he should run the country as a dictatorship and his views were so extreme that he had been banned from a church and thrown out of the National Front.
Police had discovered the KKK outfit, along with a National Front membership card in his former name Darren Clifft, a White Pride Worldwide flag, and a copy of a letter to a German acquaintance from mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik.
Judge John Warner said he had no choice but to jail Philips for 12 months.
During sentencing at Wolverhampton Crown Court, his lawyers argued that there was a risk of reprisals against relatives of the extremist if his address was published, and that he had received threatening messages online.
Editorial staff argued that publishing Philips’ address would help distinguish him from anyone in the area with the same name.
The paper also highlighted a previous judgement which ruled that any reprisals by “ill-intentioned persons” cannot be regarded as natural consequence of the publication of proceedings.
Judge Warner ruled that there was no material evidence of risk to Philips’ family and that his road name could be published.
Express & Star deputy editor Diane Davies said: “This is a small but important victory for freedom of the press.
“Readers have the right to know who lives among them, and withholding addresses of criminals for their own comfort would set a worrying precedent.”